Overnight Camping has many advantages. Here’s 3 indisputable benefits in taking regular overnight camping trips and making the most of your weekend.
Our recent trip to Conondale National Park to complete part of the Conondale Range Great Walk was accompanied by an overnight camping adventure at Charlie Moreland, a nearby campground in Imbil State Forest. The destination of many a family holiday as I was growing up, this spot is a bit of a nostalgic one for me and when I really think about it, is likely the core inspiration for Explore Nation all these years later.
Situated just outside the township of Kenilworth, Charlie Moreland lies at the end of a 5 kilometre unsealed road in an open forest setting. Only an hour and a half north of Brisbane or 45 minutes from the Sunshine Coast, the grounds make for a perfect weekend or extended getaway, complete with amenities and swimming hole. As we circled the busy-for-this-time-of-year area in search of a suitable site, we reflected on just how much gear we’d packed – or in our case overpacked – for a measly 24 hours away from the city.
You know what they say, if you’re camping for one night you may as well camp for three.
I’d never heard ‘them’ say this before, but my buddy Tarin was adamant it’s a thing. I’m still not entirely sure it is (Google was no help), but his sentiment does ring true to the perception many have of an overnight camping trip; the notion being that the logistics, equipment and planning involved aren’t necessarily worth it for only one night. I’m going to call bullshit, and here’s why:
1. Opportunity Is Endless
Find the best spot you’ve never camped. Everybody has their favourite sites, but when’s the last time you ventured somewhere new? Use overnight camps to explore different locations and adventure to places you’ve never been. Plan out your trip and research the locale in advance, or be spontaneous and take a risk. Mix it up by venturing to a different region every few weeks, or try alternative styles of camping (ie. bush or beach) to see what tickles your fancy most. All going well you may find your new favourite camping destination, or if it’s not exactly your idea of perfect, cross it off the list and try again next week. After all, you’re only there for a night.
2. Practice Makes Perfect
Overnight camps provide an ideal opportunity to perfect your set up. You may be planning bigger, longer and more remote expeditions down the track, so why not use the overnighter to ensure you’re prepared? Test out new equipment and make a list of things you’ve forgotten or still need to add to your kit. Learn to pack – and repack – your vehicle so that when it comes time to head off you’ve got the process down like clockwork. Scope out the set ups of other campers, experiment with different campfire meals and most importantly take note of the things you could do without. Every little bit counts.
3. Experience is Key
The more overnight camps you do, the more refined your processes will become. Talk to anybody and they’ll tell you setting up and packing up camp can be the most tedious of tasks, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Now that you’ve got a few hot spots up your sleeve and your equipment is in check, make an effort to get away as often as you can. Like anything, regular overnight camping trips bring with them the added opportunity to learn and improve. The more experience and familiarity you have under your belt, the more fluent and efficient your camp configuration will become. You’ll not only reduce the amount of planning required every time you want to hit the road, but you’ll be more likely to keep those unwanted stressful moments at bay.